Amur River bridge connecting China and Russia complete
The new bridge connecting Blagoveshchensk in Eastern Russia with Heihe in China is now complete. The 1km bridge spans the Amur River/Heilongjiang River and has been built in a joint construction project by Chinese and Russian contractors. The Chinese design for the dual lane, cable-stayed bridge has previously won an award for its innovation. Costing around US$379 million to build, the project faced numerous challenges, not the least of which was posed by the ferociously cold winter weather.
The bridge is expected to give a much-needed economic boost to both the Russian and Chinese sides, benefiting the two nations equally. The joint Russian/Chinese project is of immense significance for both countries and was the subject of negotiations over three decades. Its importance can be seen with the fact that the agreement to commence building was signed in person by president Putin of Russia and president Xi of China during a joint ceremony.
The Chinese firm that led the project is Long Jian Road & Bridge, part of the state-owned Heilongjiang Province Construction Group. The bridge is not expected to carry heavy traffic volumes at first but will help boost trading between these areas of Russia and China by a factor of 10. Its opening, due in the second quarter of 2020, will make a significant reduction in journey times between Blagoveshchensk and Heihe as drivers previously had to travel some 3,500km between the two cities, despite the fact that they lie within sight of each other.